Celtic Fans Will Be Shocked At The New Head Of Referees … But Others Will Be Outraged.

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So, the SFA has finally decided the name of the man who will take over as the head of refereeing, and the name is a shocking one, with wide-ranging implications. As a Celtic blogger I am highly amused by it in one sense, but in another I am deeply dismayed because the association is no more open to change and reform than parts of our club are.

The guy who will head up Scotland’s officiating is … Willie Collum.

The meltdown in Sevconia is all-too-easy to predict; this will go down like a lead weight and their club’s fury need only be imagined. They have accused him of bias and tried to get him out of their fixtures entirely.

Now he’s running the whole damned show, with a wide-ranging remit.

The man they trust least is now where they would least want him.

The irony is delicious, and in many ways richly satisfying.

Celtic’s manager praised Collum earlier in the season as our very best official, back when Ibrox was demanding he never darken their door again. It is easy to see why for some inside our club this would be darkly funny and even seen as a step in the right direction.

I thought, for example, he had a very good game at Celtic Park.

He needed a second look at the Lundstram decision, but showed the red card. He gave us the penalty and didn’t change his mind.

But there are obvious concerns.

This is really not the name we wanted from a reform point of view. Nowhere near it. We wanted someone from outside Scotland, to come in here with a fresh perspective and to offer some original thinking.

This is another dire internal appointment.

They claimed to have done one of those “extensive searches”; funny that it produced a similar result to the one which brought Mark Lawwell to Celtic. Who knew in a world of high-quality operators that the answer was working at Hampden all along eah?

It’s amateur hour. It makes our game a laughing stock. These people have no interest in reform.

The SFA is one big clubby job scheme for those already inside the walls. Collum is the country’s best official, the only one genuinely respected by UEFA, but this is still a ridiculous promotion and one that does nothing more than paper over the cracks.

Still, Ibrox will hate it. There is no doubt about that.

Obviously, this is a story which is going to develop as the day goes on … but it’s certainly not the appointment most of us wanted, which was for someone from outside Scotland to come in with a big shovel and a pail and start clearing that place out.

Instead we get this … wholly unsatisfying, though definitely amusing.

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  • Sid says:

    After searching 4 continents the best candidate was right under there nose, yet UEFA don’t see him good enough to officiate at big tournaments. A corrupt organisation will always look to promote from within to protect it’s dirty little secrets. Imagine hiring someone talented who wanted to showcase his talents then telling him Celtic have to be handicapped and Sevco favoured. Someone with professional pride and abilities would want out of there instantly and risk spilling the beans. No way the SFA risk that. This appointment means more of the same all in the name of entertainment, roll up roll up for Scotlands WWF.

    • Martin says:

      Think Collum has been on the wind down to retirement so probably didn’t get involved in the rigmarole of retaining his UEFA badge.

  • Michael McCartney says:

    Collum is a fair minded referee, that’s what they can’t stand over Ibrox way.
    Collum is not a great referee, he makes mistakes across the board, but his honest mistakes are not done in a biased way. The Ibrox mob are so used to getting most 50/50 decisions and they just can’t come to terms when a Scottish Referee doesn’t follow the usual script.
    Like you I would have liked someone from outside Scotland to come in and take a fresh look at Scottish refereeing. I think that was always going to be too revolutionary for the SFA. Willie Collum will be judged over the next couple of seasons, surely he has got himself a chance to improve the standard of refereeing in Scotland, it shouldn’t be too hard to do.

  • Magua says:

    I wonder if he was appointed in the shower after Saturday’s game?

    Hail Hail.

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